Beyond "Snowfall" New York Times Interactive Study of One Painting

I thank my colleague Bryan Alexander for sharing this interesting interactive “close reading” in the New York Times

His reference is to a very innovative bit of web publishing the times did in 2012 in a story of an avalanche, on mixing text with interactive media, maps into, what looked like to many us as a new age of web design.

In this new piece, How a Gray Painting Can Break Your Heart the scrolling text on the left leads you to explore details and overall images of a painting by artist Jasper Johns.

The text is minimal, but as you scroll, the imagery fluidly changes on the left. Sometimes, the text is explanatory, other times, it is more commentary.

I find it an engaging way to have a guided experience with a painting, to read and see at the same time.

There is no “tool” per see that can produce this, it’s generated by some advanced media specialists. Or maybe there is and I do not know about. I just like the experience.

I cannot locate the link anymore, but there was a clever person who reverse engineered the format of the original snowfall article in a piece of software that gave promise to make it easier for others to do. I recall he was sued by the Times and had it taken down but also that his software was purchased by WordPress… but never saw the light of day. Does anyone else remember this?

Regardless, I am curious if anyone else is intrigued by this type of web experience or have seen other compelling examples.

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